Here she is…. (will high-heels keep her from being) Mrs. America…

It has been some time since I have penned-in an entry to my site here. It is not that my husband and I aren’t still eagerly anticipating the Ultimate Summer Road Trip… woah –it’s been so long that I forgot I call it TUSRT. Oh yeah. Anyway. It’s just that I have been very, very busy.

You see, for 30-some odd years, the Mrs. America Pageant has been placing a crown on the head of whomsoever they deem to be America’s most beautiful, poised, articulate and versatile married woman. The thing is, proving that you are beautiful, poised, articulate or versatile is not a prerequisite to enter the State Preliminaries of the pageant! The only prerequisites are that you be a woman, married, and over 18. Oh, and an American, too, I suppose.

I, as it turns out, am all of these things! So I decided to enter The Mrs. Wyoming-America pageant (preliminary to Mrs. America) on behalf of (my)Smalltown, WY. And why not? I thought. It will be something new, something I never, ever imagined myself doing and for that reason alone I should do it! Carpe diem! Live Big! No fear, no regrets! Yep.

That, and they were going to send me a super sparkly Official Mrs. Wyoming Tiara AND a Sash that would proclaim to one and all that I was Mrs. (my)Smalltown-America 2010! I was irresistibly seduced, I admit. I was already planning on wearing the tiara and sash on such vital outings as walking the dog before the tiara and sash even arrived. Before I even had a dog, for that matter. The dog came later.

Not at all to my surprise (since I met the above requirements as previously mentioned) I found myself tiara’d (no “crowning” until you take State) as Mrs. (my)Smalltown WY~America 2010. Really! I have a website and everything. Which I built myself. On Microsoft Office Live “Build-Your-Own-Website”. Which does not at all negate the fact that I really am the entry for my city, and will be competing in the official Mrs. Wyoming Pageant in just a few short days.

Which explains why I have been so busy. Mostly exercising. The realization that I was going to actually compete in a beauty pageant brought on the realization that I was probably out of shape. Or suffering from the lack of a dedicated fitness plan, as my new Zumba instructor might say. This was emphasized by the fact that I needed to consult Google in order to familiarize myself with activities that fall under the category of a dedicated fitness plan. Miniature golf was not in there, who knew? And, as my mother so sagely pointed out (she’s good that way), a normal weight, even a below-average weight, is not beauty-contestant weight, not even in Wyoming. She also pondered aloud if I had considered looking for a really good “tummy-cincher” to wear underneath pageant outfits. Um. Thanks, mom? When I admited that it hadn’t occured to me that I needed a tummy-cincher, she hastened to assure me that I wasn’t at all responsible for my belly’s unfortunate refusal to lie perfectly flat… genetics, you know.

Mom’s observations aside, I suppose the real clincher that led to the quest for a dedicated fitness plan was the following. Even at the “Mrs.” Level –there’s a swimsuit competition. On stage. In high heels, no less.

Actually, the entire competition takes place in high heels. Heels with the swimsuit, heels with the interview suit, heels with the dress for the opening number dance routine, and heels with the evening gown. There are rules about the heels, too, one of which is that they must be at least 3” high. Which is a good deal higher than my normal foot attire –little inventions I like to call “flip-flops”. There is a very real, artful beauty to walking gracefully in high heels. Too bad I don’t have it. What I do in high heels is much less “walk”, and more in the way of “fall”. I’ve been practicing that, though, that “walking in high heels” business. To be honest, the exercise part is going better…probably because there really isn’t any penalty for falling during exercise class.

Yes, I have been very, very busy. Realizing yesterday that the pageant is about a week away and I had not yet taken care of my last two pieces of pageantry business, purchasing an evening gown and the specific shoes required to be worn with said evening gown, I went downtown to the local specialty dress shop to do just that. Upon arrival, I was ushered down into the shop’s basement room to peruse this season’s leftover prom gowns. I was drawn to the floofy, puffy, princess ball-gowns (the ones that won’t even fit through a doorway unless someone gives you a nice shove to help you out), but decided that the pageant spectators would probably giggle a bit if I was decked out like Thumbelina on a puff weed pod, (and Lord knows I’ll be giving them enough giggle fodder after my eighteenth high-heel stumbling, ankle-twisting incident) so I chose one that looked more “pageanty”. You know, sleek and sophisticated and boasting the bling!-bling! It was also, actually, the only dress they had left in my size… Luckily, I really liked it, despite mom’s dubious musings over whether a tummy-cincher could even be worn under a dress with such a low back!

Gown secured, I proceeded to check out the shoe selection. The shoe selection, though trendy and nicely varied, was missing the particular type of shoe that I am required to have. This, I knew, would be no surprise to my husband, who had informed me that I would never find the shoes I needed in any store in our town. The reason for this, he has assured me, is that the type of shoes I am looking for are stripper shoes. He had informed me of this fact weeks ago when I told him I needed clear, open-toed heels for my evening gown. I call them clear, open-toed heels. My husband insists on referring to them as plastic stripper shoes. I should have listened to him, though, as indeed, no one in town sells clear, open-toed heels. Or stripper shoes either, for that matter.

I ended up ordering the shoes online and paying extra for rush delivery. I will never admit to my husband that I had trouble finding them online anywhere in a 3” heel. Though I did find plenty of them in a 4½ – 5” heel. On exotic dancer apparel sites.

I will also be wearing the clear, open-toed heels for the opening number dance routine. This is the only performance that we, the contestants, are required to give. The Mrs. America Pageant officials have, in their wisdom, apparently decided that being a wife, or a wife & mom, are all the performing talents that we as Americans should ask from our married ladies. I heartily agree. Otherwise, I would have been up there reading aloud this blog entry I’ve just written, or lecturing on some fine point of interest. What I would not have been doing is singing, or dancing in any sort of a complex way. Because I can’t. Twirling a baton would have been out, too; I lost the knack for that after high school. If push came to shove, I could have hula-hooped, but I’m just not sure that that’s what people mean when they say America’s Got Talent….

Postscript: I didn’t buy a tummy-cincher… I don’t know, I’m just a rebel that way. Don’t tell mom.

THESE. Are not my shoes.


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